We’re Goin’ to the Chapel and We’re Gonna Get Married

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Most early marriages fail primarily because of emotional immaturity and limited life experience. Science plays a role too.

“In our 20s, sometimes we don’t have a strong sense of who we are as an individual,” said Elaine Spencer-Carver, a social-work professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Young couples may have the chemistry but often lack the history that sustains unions.

“Younger people are more apt to go into marriage with the expectation that the other person is going to fulfill them,” said Peg Donley, a licensed marital therapist in Prairie Village, Kan. “Older people are probably a little more seasoned, more realistic.”

An excerpt, ladies and gentlemen, from an article recently published in the Chicago Tribune.  Also found within the article are a few very interesting statistics, such as nearly 50% of marriages result in divorce, and, the one of particular importance in this blog post is the following: 60% of couples married between the ages of 20 and 25 divorce.

Now that we’ve all read that, and I’m sure we all knew that already, can someone tell me exactly why everyone in our age demographic is running of to get hitched? Here’s something to ponder. I bet that if you really love someone, you can wait, because whether you’re twenty or ninety, you’ll be together. And you shouldn’t need a ring to make that known.

Now, in my twenty years, I’ve had a few relationships — none of which I would have EVER considered marriage with. And its not because I wasn’t happy, believe me. But we’re just too young. I don’t know who I am yet, hell, I don’t even have a boyfriend and my peers are out getting married? How is this even real?

In the next five years, my focuses are on finishing school and starting a successful career. Not tying the knot, not putting someone else before myself, just on getting myself sorted out. And don’t you think marriages would be better off if all of this bookkeeping was taken care of before we jumped into what is supposed to be a life-long, sacred commitment?

I remember being a little girl, laying in bed after my daddy read me a bedtime story and asking him, as every little girl does, to marry me. And then I remember his very typical, fatherly response: “Oh, sweetie, we can’t do that because I love your mommy. But one day, you’ll find a man who loves you just as much to marry you, when you’re thirty.” Now, I know my daddy was joking, of course. But, really, what is so wrong with taking that advice we’ve all been given by overprotective parents?

Why, if you are supposed to merge your life with another individual, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, TIL DEATH DO US PART, would we need to rush into that with someone we’ve barely gotten to know? Well, I for one, won’t be marrying at a young age. And yes, the majority of that stems simply from the fact that I haven’t even a prospective groom. But even if I did, if I’m going to get myself a ball and chain, I’ll be damned if I fall into that failed marriage category.

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3 responses »

  1. I’m gonna go ahead and bring up the one thing that is obviously a part of this discussion that is not mentioned in the blog – sex. I think many people want to get married because they realize there are things you can do in marriage that you can’t do out of it. Now, of course, I’m aware that people are “able” to choose to have sex before marriage. But no one, not even their own parents, can say it’s “wrong” once you’re married. Plus, aside from sex, if you’re married, you know that your spouse if there when you come home from work, when you’ve had a bad day, when you wake up in the morning. You don’t have to make plans to spend time together because you ARE together. The problem is, most people nowadays choose all of these things that are designed by God to be a part of marriage and implement them into their relationships, even the ones they know have no chance of heading toward marriage. I know that it all depends on one’s worldview and perspective. For me, my relationship with Jesus Christ informs my views on all topics, especially this one. I believe that God created marriage to be special, not something people are scared of because of the commitment. What too many young people don’t realize today is that they ARE making that commitment! In God’s eyes, there is no such thing as premarital sex. When we decide to enter into that kind of relationship with another individual, the assumption is that we are committed. The ring and ceremony is a cultural thing. Too many people are living like they are married without actually evaluating their partner and whether their partner has integrity and a heart that is willing to love unconditionally. So the commitment happens, but it’s one-sided. People are left with an incredible amount of pain that leaves them feeling more like marriage is a dumpster fire than an amazing blessing. The good news is that God loves us no matter what we do and while we have consequences for our actions, He is always willing to let us come back to Him and experience healing and blessing. He has set a way before us to follow His commands, but now so that we don’t get destroyed by Him with hellfire. The reason for His commands is because He knows what will cause us the least amount of pain. He grieves when we grieve, especially in broken relationships. I’m not a religious fanatic. I just have an understanding of what my RELATIONSHIP with Christ is, and it’s not a bunch of arbitrary rules. It’s about the most abundant life we can possibly have. Just my humble opinion based on that relationship and His Word. God bless!

  2. I surely was not implying that marriage is based in anything other than God. While yes, I do think that people are making the commitment too lightly and neglect the sanctity of the union, but I was not implying that they should not wed at young ages out of fear of commitment. Granted, there are some individuals who know at young ages that they are meant to be together, but I genuinely believe that marriage should not be a priority in the 20 to 25 year age range.

    Now, I also don’t believe sex is a reason to wed. If you are getting married so that you are able to have sex without guilt, then that is probably not a genuine reason to join your life with someone else. I do understand your point there, but it still, in my opinion, is not an appropriate reason to marry at a young age.

    I understand there are exceptions to every rule, but I was simply stating that I will not marry until I do know who I am and what I want in life, and I don’t think that is something we can know at this age. I want one marriage for eternity, and I believe that we need to completely grow up in order to make an honest commitment worthy of a union in God’s eyes.

  3. Yes! I totally agree with that statement. And sorry if it seemed I was saying sex is a “good” reason to get married. I was simply saying that I believe that’s why a lot of people just go ahead and get it done once they believe they have found one they can share their life with rather than wait for a career, or whatever else they might want to accomplish first. In Genesis, God says it is not good for man (and consequently woman) to be alone. He made us for each other and depending on what our standard of completeness is, we really can’t be complete without the opposite gender. God stated that male AND female were created in His image. That means both genders bear God’s image in different ways, and to only have one gender is to miss out on a huge piece of God! So those are my feelings on the marital relationship. You are correct to say that sex is “not a genuine reason to join your life with someone else”. And you are also correct in saying that “we need to completely grow up in order to make an honest commitment worthy of a union in God’s eyes”. In our culture, it is a commitment that we need to take very seriously and be very cautious in when choosing a spouse. The only thing I even slightly disagree with is the age thing. Mary, mother of Jesus, was a teenager. Many other cultures have people getting married much younger than here. Other cultures have people getting married much older than here. So that is why I say “slightly” disagree. In our culture, I believe you’re generally right. However, I also believe other cultures show us that it’s not an exact science, that it’s not black and white as to when we should get married and when we shouldn’t, and if God is at the center of the relationship, anything is possible, even if it isn’t “normal”. I understand you were talking mostly about your personal feelings, but still, thanks for sharing and writing about what I think is such an important topic for young people. And thanks for letting me be a part of the discussion. It was very well done! 🙂

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